The meme I have created is one featuring James Dean for the James Dean fandom or Classic/Old Hollywood fandom. This meme works as a combination of a joke and a motivational picture. It works as a joke because the tagline “You Should Be Studying” is most likely a true statement for the audience it is meant for, as they are probably scrolling through their fandoms social media outlet- Tumblr, Twitter or Instagram and are neglecting their studies (or other duties that they are supposed to be attending to) and a picture of their idol referencing this neglect may (or may not) help them realise they are procrastinating.
The audience this meme is directed to is fellow James Dean lovers and even the Classic/Old Hollywood and Hollywood Golden Age fandom- one that is surprisingly large in numbers. They would appreciate the irony and meaning behind this meme as they understand the love and fascination one feels toward their idol and how hard it is to tear yourself away from indulging in content about them- especially on sites like Tumblr where there is a constant flow of such content.
I wouldn’t say this meme requires specialized knowledge other than the knowledge of who James Dean is and what he looks like. This meme references the fangirl tendencies of those who use sites such as Tumblr and Twitter where memes of this kind can mostly be found. It highlights the tendency to continuously scroll and indulge in James Dean or Classic Hollywood content and the comfort and fun in interacting with fellow fans on these sites as you become friends and bond over your love of your fandom thus neglecting your studies or responsibilities. It references the attractiveness of our idol, James Dean, and our love for him and the meme uses him and his expression as a way of telling us to give our obsession a break and go study – almost saying he knows we’re neglecting our real life responsibilities to indulge in content about him.
The intertextuality of this meme references the fangirl behaviour that is especially present today, more than ever before, because of digital culture. It builds on other memes that have been floating around the fandom and fangirl circuit that use pictures of male idols/crushes with the same tagline – reminding fangirls that they should be studying. Idexically the picture of the male crush changes for each fandom but the tagline and message says the same thus making its templatability simple: different picture (content) suited to each fan or fandom with the same message. All in all I did build existing memes created by fangirls and suited its content for the James Dean and Classic Hollywood fandom. It connects to others with its similar meaning and tone but differs in its reference which is suited to each fandom.
This idea came to me instantly and I ran with it. I knew which picture of Jimmy I was going to use from the get go and the tagline. Having run a One Direction and The Wanted fan account on Twitter and Tumblr I have seen many similar memes using each of the band members and the whole band numerous times and that is what inspired me to create a similar James Dean meme as I have not come across one of those yet (simply because his fans are much more mature). I followed the meme generator link posted on the Sakai assignment page and followed the steps to creating the meme, which were much simpler than I expected, and voila – here it is.